Should You Change Your Site to https?

Before I start this article, since you use http and https every time you open a web browser and “surf” the internet I think it’s important you know the bare basics regarding the difference between http and https and how it affects you. First off http and https is a technology protocol that allows linking and web browsing (or surfing the web if you like). If you would like an in depth education on How SSL Works, check out this YouTube video “How SSL Works tutorial – with HTTPS example

Now days some web browsers (Google Chrome & Firefox) don’t even show http in your web address window of your web browser (do not confuse our search window with the address window), but if you are on a https page it will as shown below.

In Google Chrome http:// isn't shown In Google Chrome secure https is shown

For many years https was used only on select pages, like pages that you typed in personal information and your credit card for instance. The main reason https hasn’t been used web site wide is because it slowed down the site as all information has to be encrypted, this takes web server (where your web site lives) resources (and other reasons we will not go into) to deliver that secure page to your web browser. But technology has changed to make it feasible to offer https site wide now.

Now the real question, why does it matter to you and your web site is using https over http. And here are the key benefits of changing your site over to https:// making all pages secure instead of just a select few.

  • This goes without saying, if you are accepting credit cards on your site, you need https!
  • It will show to your site visitors you care about their security and experience on your web site.
  • If you are tracking search data that search engines provide to your analytics software or service to your site, you will get that information since Google is sending visitors that found your site via a Google search to your tracking software/service. Otherwise you do not get that data. Bing is in transition from moving from http to https as well.
  • If you have any kind of form asking for any kind of information on your site, you should change the site to https, again showing your site visitors you care.
  • You operate any Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla! and the many others
  • Google has announced better web site page rankings (HTTPS as a ranking signal) when web sites use https://   (I personally would not change your site to https:// just for the sole & only purpose of better Google rankings. I think it will help ranking, but the question is to what degree, every case will be different)

Yoast.com (the maker of a great WordPress SEO plugin) converted their web site over to full https:// and you can read here as to why Joost de Valk made the switch in early 2014 His article “Should we move to an all HTTPS web?” is well worth the read, especially

https:// on Yoast.com

As for as KartHost own web site, of course we have our Customer Center operating under full https since day one. We are making plans now to change the main part of our site over to https by the end of this year.

Once you have made your decision to move your site to https, KartHost can help you set up your site to operate under https. In the coming weeks more information will be provided to our hosting customer regarding https and your options. Until then feel free to call on me at anytime to discuss your site.

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Roy Randolph

Co-Founder and COO of KartHost LLC, KartHost founded in 2000 Retired Commercial Airline Captain.